The words ‘social media’ and ‘Twitter’ make many of us feel inadequate in trying to understand it — let alone use it! Remedy? Never forget the edu-power of Google! That’s how we learnt to use social media for connecting with like-minded people for support and friendship, as well as to raise our voices as policy-challenging advocates.
Twitter is perhaps the most powerful social media platform to get your message out to many, many people – quickly. Twitter allows you to advocate in your own way; you yourself can be gentle and consistent in your approach, whilst others may take a more assertive, bull-by-the-horns approach. The only rules in social media are: be yourself, be diplomatic and know your facts. Otherwise, that’s all there is to it!
ABC’s Short & Sweet Cheat-Sheet on How to Tweet
- Create your ‘handle’ which should definitely be memorable and unique! (‘Handles’ are really just usernames that begins with an @ symbol.)
- Remember (always!) that Google is your best friend! When you see something on Twitter that confuses you, just Google it. For example, ‘What is #FF on Twitter?’ #FF means ‘Follow Friday’ which you use in your Tweets on Fridays to recommend people worth following who have followed you that week, or who are key influencers in the breast health advocacy arena. e.g. “Brilliant #breasthealth people doing amazing things: @BreastCancerABC @CanSurvive @RevlonSA #FF”
- ‘Hashtags’: “People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.” (Quoted directly from Twitter’s own glossary.) You, for instance, would potentially search for #breastcancer to discover the latest news about breast cancer, as well as discover like-minded people you would like to follow and engage with. (One of our key hashtags is #breasthealthpolicy.)
- Depending on who you follow and what you tweet about, Twitter will begin to suggest people for you to follow that are usually relevant for you.
- You can share content such as videos, photos and links to website pages – always remembering to use a hashtag that’s relevant to what you’re sharing. eg. #oncology or #breastcancerpolicy or #mammogram
- Retweeting means that if you find someone else’s tweet interesting or valuable, you will share it by ‘retweeting’ that tweet. Here is Twitter’s guide: How to Retweet.
- Never start a Tweet with someone’s handle. If you do, only your followers will see it, which means your message won’t reach an effective amount of people.
- Always play nicely! Don’t get into heated arguments! Stay calm and tweet sweetly on 🙂
We discovered this wonderful video to prove that you’re never too young, too old or too technologically-challenged to use Twitter as a dynamically interactive and powerfully influential advocacy tool. Have a watch and let us know when you’ve created your Twitter handle! #wink